Pro, official discussion on the interpretation of the rules


Dylan Frittelli and a rules official, right, on Friday at the 17th hole at TPC Deere Run.

You cannot take free relief if your ball is simply against a tree. But you they can take free relief if your ball is in an animal hole.

So Dylan Frittelli started making some math rules.

To set up the animated sequence during the second round of Friday’s John Deere Classic, the pro hooked his tee shot to the left on the par-5 17 at TPC Deere Run, his ball appearing to have landed on the base of a tree, and Frittelli he called a rules officer. Although it was difficult to know exactly where the ball was on the PGA Tour live broadcast, the PGA Tour Twitter account described the interaction such as: “Dylan Frittelli and a rules officer discuss a possible animal hole within tree roots.”

Y to converse they did it. PGA Tour Live captured this part of the conversation, which was also shared by the Tour’s Twitter account:

“Okay, but if that hole goes 5 feet under the tree and my ball is still 5 feet under the tree and I can’t reach it, then you don’t get relief?” Frittelli asked the officer.

“That is correct,” the official said. “Because you can’t argue that you could play the shot.”

“I get it, but if this dig hole goes down another 6 feet and you’ve seen him go into that hole and he keeps it, you can’t play it, you still don’t get relief?” Frittelli asked.

“That is correct,” the official said.

“Are you sure about that?” Frittelli asked.

“I’m sure,” the official said.

“So if there is an anthill…” Frittelli began.

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“You are inside the tree,” the official said.

“So if you’re in an anthill and it buries itself inside the anthill, don’t you get relief from that?” Frittelli asked. “Can’t you hit him because he’s 5 feet into the anthill?”

“If there is something that prohibits you from playing that shot, if that wasn’t there, then you wouldn’t get relief,” the referee said. “Like a tree, a bush.”

At this point, Frittelli began to slide, eventually finishing with a double bogey seven.

“I do not agree with the ruling,” he told the official. “I understand your interpretation, but I do not agree with the ruling. I’ll still check later if you can have someone there to talk to me afterwards.”

So what’s up here? Frittelli was seeking relief from an abnormal course condition, the animal hole, per Rule 16.1.

But the rulebook explains his case in interpretation 16.1a(3)/3, which states (deep breath):

“In deciding whether relief under Rule 16.1a(3) should be denied for a ball lying underground in an animal hole, the decision is made on the basis of the lie the ball would have at the entrance of the opposing hole. to the position of the ball underground. In the hole.

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“For example, in the general area, a player’s ball goes underground in a hole made by an animal. A large bush is immediately to the side and overhangs the entrance to the animal hole.

“The nature of the area at the entrance to the animal hole is such that, if the animal hole were not there, it would be clearly unreasonable for the player to make a stroke at the ball (because of the protruding bush). In such a situation, the player cannot take relief under Rule 16.1b. The player must play the ball as it lies or proceed under Rule 19 (Ball Unplayable).

“If the ball lies in an animal hole but is not underground, the spot on the ball is used to determine whether it is clearly unreasonable to play the ball and whether Rule 16.1a(3) applies. If Rule 16.1a(3) does not apply, the player is allowed to take free relief under Rule 16.1b. The same principles would apply to a ball that is buried in an immovable obstruction.”

Or, in other words, the official was right.

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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski Publisher

Nick Piastowski is a senior editor for and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories throughout the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left and right and short, and drinking a cold beer to clear the score. the. You can contact him about any of these topics (his stories of his, his game, or his beers) at [email protected]